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08:07 PM on 12/17/2012
When two coworkers and I were interviewing candidates for a job, one person asked of us "what is your favorite and least favorite parts of your job." I thought it was a great question, and probably one that most people wouldn't expect.
08:50 PM on 12/17/2012
Did you answer honestly? No? I thought not, so what good did it do the person to ask it besides giving you a little wow factor?
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01:55 AM on 12/18/2012
Yeah, when they ask me my "bad characteristics" or "weak points," it's really just an invitation to lie. How can you NOT lie? They won't hire you if you say you're sometimes absent-minded! In fact, they are thus rewarding liars and penalizing truth-tellers.
Et tu, Brute?
09:38 PM on 12/17/2012
When I interviewed with Microsoft they asked a lot of unconventional questions like: how many fire hydrants are there in the US. Most of it was very logic based. They wanted to see how your mind worked.
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12:35 AM on 12/18/2012
And look where they are now....
01:53 AM on 12/18/2012
It's super-easy if you know the average density of fire-hydrants, and the surface area of the US. Or to at least know that for the urban areas of the US, and the urban surface area. But if you've never paid attention to the distribution of fire-hydrants, how would you answer?
08:04 PM on 12/17/2012
1. What do I have to say to get hired?
02:20 AM on 12/18/2012
You would have to say i'll work 40 hours a week for whatever pay you start me at. In other words i'm willing to work minium wage or below for long hours without any complaints.
Never Surprised by Stupidity
07:54 PM on 12/17/2012
All really good points - in a perfect world.
If an applicant has a good grasp of all ten points, he or she would be more qualified to work for that company than the folks interviewing him or her.
In my recent experience, the question "Can you do the job?" is not given much priority anymore and experience is often held against you.
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01:41 AM on 12/18/2012
In my recent experience in a job search, employers want you to have EVERY skill listed in the job ad. But they still don't want to pay well.
yes i said yes i will yes
07:39 PM on 12/17/2012
i was interviewed by hr after i talked to my future boss who said that it was just a formality to talk to hr. but, boy or boy did hr behave like they were the ones deciding if i was qualified; i didn't even believe that they understood what the job entailed. it was good free practice but very annoying that glorified secretaries act like they have such power over you and want to toy with you.

after that i just kept the first interview short, asking a question or two, act interested in what they are saying and make sure you cover the main points and let them end the interview quickly and save your energy for the 2nd interview with the real deciders.
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01:45 AM on 12/18/2012
The job of HR is just to make sure you're more or less qualified for the job, not to judge your personality and such. You don't have to "sell" your personality and charm to them.

The second interview is where they judge your whole personality, how you'd fit it, how much they like you, etc.
I lost everything betting on Mitt...
07:33 PM on 12/17/2012
My suggestion is to show up the next day about 30 minutes after start time...

Ask where your office is...
Tell them you will need to leave early today, and will be needing Friday off.
While they are stammering to figure out why you are there, ask who will be buying you lunch.
When you are approached by HR speak up quickly and ask about the health insurance plan and vacation time. Tell them you want to put in for next week.
spay/neuter and adopt
07:23 PM on 12/17/2012
Best interview I ever had was with our receptionist. My husband had a few phone call he had to deal with and I walked in and she was answering our phones. I asked her if she had been interviewed and she said "Not yet, but the phones needed to be answered" 8 yrs later and I still haven't given her an interview.
Beer - Helping white guys dance since 1842.
07:12 PM on 12/17/2012
11) Play the Power Ball lottery as all of the other applicants did the same thing before you, and will do so after you.
Fringe Left is no better then Fringe Right
06:13 PM on 12/17/2012
Also, dont feel afraid to ask the interviewer "Whats in it for me"?

Benefits? Vacation pay? 401K? PTO? A company that works you into an early grave is NOT the place to work at.....

You work to LIVE, NOT live to WORK.....
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01:46 AM on 12/18/2012
In this economy, you're lucky to get decent benefits. Many people have to take the job that is offered them.
01:47 AM on 12/18/2012
there is no need to ask---if they don't voluntarily tell you what your benefits are during the interview, don't bother working for them
05:17 PM on 12/17/2012
Ask the interviewer what THEY like about working at United Widgets.

Enthusiasm is like Poison Ivy, extremely contagious...
05:16 PM on 12/17/2012
Bring printed pages from the company's website, highlighted in yellow; with some questions about things like new product announcements, mergers, sales results, expansion news, etc.

I sent a shy, inarticulate candidate to an employer once. Before the interview even started, the candidate took out the highlighted web pages and put them on the desk. The President of the company asked him what they were. He told the President what they were. President looks at him and says "Be here Monday at 9AM". No interview, hired on the spot. The guy came back to me with tears in his eyes, he was so grateful and excited.
05:39 PM on 12/17/2012
That's very nice, but I can't fathom it will ever happen again on planet earth. Quirky candidate + employer with a matching quirks isn't something you can count on to get a job.
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05:59 PM on 12/17/2012
I agree. I would not hire someone in that way.
No owning ideas. Limit only commercial use.
06:52 PM on 12/17/2012
Oh, but you're supposed to know every detail of the company in advance. So you know the boss's quirks. Supposedly.
08:52 PM on 12/17/2012
Now that is real world advice that is helpful. Unlike the article. Thank you for sharing!
05:13 PM on 12/17/2012
I remember once I was interviewing a candidate for a mid-level position. The interview went quite well and the candidate was placed on the short-list for further evaluation. The next thing that happened was that this particular candidate wrote a letter to the company president saying that he had concerns that our opposite ethnicity would be a factor in any decision I made about his application and interview. Needless to say, a week later he got the rejection letter, when if he had kept his mouth shut he would probably have gotten the job!
Et tu, Brute?
09:40 PM on 12/17/2012
Yeah, there's always a good incentive to keep a little bit in touch after you interview. Don't be pushy or make demands like you mentioned above.
05:11 PM on 12/17/2012
With over 25 years of HR experience, I always advise people to be themselves and know their own career goals, and NOT be a chameleon, trying to match what they think the employer is seeking.

YOUR job is to tell the prospective employer what your qualifications and unique skills are. THEIR job is to determine if you are a fit.

However, be prepared for them asking for your strengths and weakneses. For a weakness, tell them you need to improve your time management, you get so immersed in a job you lose track of time and notice it's 8PM. Who wouldn't want to hire someone like THAT.

And finally, have memorized at least 2 things about yourself that you think are unique and set you apart from the other applicants. Assume there are at least 3 other candidates, and know how to shine over them. Like courses you are taking that are relevant; a prev job that sounds EXACTLY like this one; how you filled in for a co-worker when they got sick and STILL did your job, too.

And don't forget to send Thank You Notes. An EM is NOT a Thank You Note. People get 200 EMs a day and just delete them. Have stamped notes in your briefcase, and go DIRECTLY to the USPS after the interview, so your cards arrive the next day. Send one to every person you interviewed with. I guarantee you none of the other candidates will send them.

Good Luck!!
12:45 PM on 12/18/2012

That tell-me-your-weaknesses trend went out a couple of decades ago. Good companies concentrate on strengths, not weaknesses. They place people according to strengths; therefore, they don't need to ask about weaknesses.

On the other side of the coin, if ever a job applicant is willing to overlook such old thinking, he/she should never hand over your weaknesses on a platter. If job applicants are asked about their weaknesses, they should reply that they concentrate on strengths, not weaknesses, and that they have applied for the job as it involves their strengths (hopefully that would be true).
05:05 PM on 12/17/2012
11) ask the boss -- are you Rebloodlican or Democrip? or what party are you so I can justify whether I can fit in or not!
04:32 PM on 12/17/2012
#2 Most employers hide behind the application process and do not tell you what company they are until you land the first interview. It's hard to be well verses in a company when you typically only have one night to do research.

#3 Likewise; most first interviewers are people who work in HR or are recruiters; they have very little knowledge on the "real" corporate culture, and like an interviewee, will try and paint the company in the greatest possible light. In fact, I had one employer come out and say they had a great corporate culture; the truth was there was no culture to speak off he was actually a egotistical control freak.

#6 This only comprises a small percentage of jobs; as most people do not have "portfolio's" to show off their work. I don't understand why this was put in.

Other than that it was a good list.
12:51 PM on 12/18/2012
Difficult in a tough job market, but seek out the companies that are a fit for you, then go after them (see my posts below). It's usually agencies/headhunters that hide the names of companies. Try to avoid headhunters and employment agencies -- industries on their way out and often with questionable ethics.

At all costs, try to avoid HR. Develop relationships with decision makers (industry events, seminars, articles, Linkedin, etc.)
04:31 PM on 12/17/2012
Here is my approach:
1. Ask how much you are going to get payed.
2. Ask for vacation time
3. Ask about benefits
If the company meets your expectation then go ahead and impressed them, if not then walk away and dont waste everybody time.
11:46 AM on 12/19/2012
This article is based on how to sell yourself and get offers. These questions are generally best asked at the end, not the beginning. Unless, as I stated earlier, you have a job and seek an upgrade. In that scenario you have leverage enough to demand this info up front. Often times, these things are negotiable, so their answer can't accurately be given until you complete the interview process. Typically, your performance in the interview will help determine their desire to flex on these things.